Security Experts Warn of Escalating Showdown Between the U.S. and RussiaBy Stewart Battle
David T. Pyne published an article in the Jan. 17 issue of the conservative National Interest under the headline “Biden’s Opportunity for Peace in Eurasia.” In it, Pyne warns that “bilateral U.S.-Russia negotiations broke down this week after the U.S. delegation reportedly refused to offer Russia any concessions or recognize any of its legitimate security concerns, most importantly in Ukraine,” and that as a result, the crisis between the two countries is in danger of spiraling out of control, towards a thermonuclear war. (On Jan. 18, U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke by phone, and agreed to a hastily-arranged meeting between them in Geneva on Jan. 21.)
Pyne is a former U.S. Army combat arms and HQ staff officer with an MA in National Security Studies from Georgetown University. He currently serves as Deputy Director of National Operations for the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security, whose website describes Pyne as “an authority with regards to the U.S., Russian and Chinese nuclear arsenals, U.S. and Russian missile defense systems and the increasing threat posed by Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) weapons.”
We quote the opening section of Pyne’s article, which speaks for itself:
“In late December 2021, Russian president Vladimir Putin threatened that the rejection of Russia’s proposed security agreements with the West would be met with ‘appropriate retaliatory military-technical measures.’ Gilbert Doctorow, a Brussels-based political analyst, has translated this to mean the deployment of additional Russian military equipment including nuclear-armed SS-26 Iskander-M short-range ballistic missiles to Belarus and Kaliningrad to threaten NATO’s frontline states and eastern Germany. He also speculated that it might refer to a possible deployment of nuclear-armed Zircon sea-launched hypersonic cruise missiles off the coast of Washington, DC, which Russia has previously stated could be utilized to destroy the U.S. capital before the president could escape on Air Force One.
“When Russia’s other weapons of mass destruction are added to the mix, the stakes for bilateral negotiations between the United States and Russia could hardly be any higher. Russia has also threatened these retaliatory military-technical measures in response to the United States enacting much stricter economic sanctions against it. Of course, if the United States and NATO were to move their troops to the Ukrainian border in response to a Russian invasion of Ukraine, it would almost certainly provoke a Russian attack upon NATO’s frontline member states where these troops are stationed, potentially starting a third world war. Thus, that is one Russian “redline” that must not be crossed. Furthermore, any Russian invasion of Ukraine and/or outbreak of war between the United States and Russia in Europe could be shortly followed by a Chinese invasion of Taiwan and a North Korean invasion of South Korea—all but ensuring that the United States would be unable to effectively counter any of these aggressions.
“Unfortunately, bilateral U.S.-Russia negotiations broke down this week after the U.S. delegation reportedly refused to offer Russia any concessions or recognize any of its legitimate security concerns, most importantly in Ukraine. In response, Russia has stated it has no plans to resume bilateral discussions with the United States to end the crisis and is continuing to escalate its preparations for war. At this point, the only way to give Russia a face-saving solution to the Ukraine crisis would be for the Biden administration to offer a significant concession such as the suspension of U.S. military assistance to Ukraine.”
Pyne ends his article by calling for the U.S. to change policy and instead forge “comprehensive peace agreements with Russia and China,” adding that they “would not be without challenges.” They would however, Pyne states, “provide an unprecedented opportunity for Biden to secure his presidential legacy as a transformational peace president while also serving to safeguard vital U.S. national security interests.”